All Saints duo looking forward to trip to Belfield

Electric Ireland HE GAA Intermediate Football Final

Ulster University v University College Cork

Belfield 7-30pm

All Saints colleagues, James McDonnell and Ronan McKillop are looking forward to Wednesday night’s trip to Belfield where the Ballymena pair are part of the Ulster University side who will face University College Cork in this year’s Electric Ireland HE GAA Intermediate football final.

Both have been key players for their club, All Saints for a number of years with McDonnell a member of a good Antrim U20 team who were narrowly beaten by Tyrone in an Ulster semi-final a couple of years ago while McKillop is a member of the present Antrim side who defeated Down in their opening Ulster league encounter two weeks ago.

Both saw some game time at the weekend with Ronan McKillop joining his All Saints colleague, Shaun O’Callaghan on the Antrim U20 side who played Tyrone at Healey Park while James McDonnell lined out for All Saints against Cann na Banna in the Ulster Intermediate club league.

Both have been regulars on the Ulster University side in their successful run to this year’s decider.

The Ulster University side who meet University College Cork in the HE GAA Intermediate Final at Belfield von Wednesday night. Included in the photograph are All Saints pair, Ronan McKillop wearing number (11) and James McDonnell (3)

Ulster University defeated DCU Dóchas Éireann 2-19 to 1-5 in a preliminary round encounter back at the end of January before recording a 2-13 to 2-10 win in a tight quarter-final win over TU Dublin at Jordanstown at the start of February.

The University of Limerick were their semi-final opponents at the Abbotstown Centre of Excellence and once again the Ulster men rose to the occasion to overcome the Limerick side by 1-8 to 0-8, setting up Wednesday nights decider with University College Cork.

The All Saints pair are the only Antrim players in an Ulster University side which has a strong Tyrone and Armagh influence with full-forward Liam Gray and half-forward, Ciaran Daly from Trillick and mid-fielder, Eoghan McDonnell from Mullaghbawn all key players for the Ulster side.

Daly scored 1-1 in the semi-final with Jack Cunningham, Gavin Duffy and Caolan Reevey amongst the marksmen while Ronan McKillop has also carried a scoring threat on the way to the decider.

James McDonnell is likely to line out at full-back, a position he has made his own at his club All Saints, and the Ulster students will need to be at their best in both defence and attack if they are to take the silver-ware north on Wednesday night.

The Munster students will start Wednesday night’s final as firm favourites and have chalked up big wins throughout the competition.

They recorded a facile 9-18 to 0-7 quarter-final victory over neighbours, MTU Cork at the end of January but were provided with a much stiffer challenge by DCU Dóchas Éireann in the semi-final on the 13th February at the Dublin City University Sports-grounds before going through on a 2-19 to 2-14 scoreline.

The final at Belfield should attract a good crowd and the Saffron Gael will be there to cover the game and hopefully bring you celebration photographs if the underdogs can overcome the challenge of the Cork seat of learning and they look quite capable of doing just that.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.